Powder Conspiracy (England, 1605)

Powder Conspiracy (England, 1605)

The powder conspiracy is a plot fomented on November 5, 1605 by a group of Catholic activists against King James I of England. The conspirators had planned to detonate barrels of powder in the House of Lords in retaliation for the anti-Catholic policies pursued by the king. Thwarted, this plan of attack will appear to be a strange combination of pretense and masquerade, worthy of a spy novel. The main conspirator, Guy fawkes, meanwhile acquired posterity thanks to a mask representing it in a stylized way, and since taken over by the "Anonymous".

The powder conspiracy

On October 26, 1605, William Parker, 4th Baron Monteagle, received an anonymous letter urging him not to attend the opening ceremony of the parliamentary session, to be held at the Palace of Westminster, London, on November 5. Not sure how to interpret this warning, he entrusted the document to Robert Cecil, the secretary of state in charge of security matters, the latter not immediately warning King James I of England, who was hunting in the provinces. On November 1, the monarch was informed of the contents of the letter, and a formal search of Parliament took place on the evening of the 4 th, leading to the arrest of Guy Fawkes, who has since been touted as the major architect of this daring plot. But is this the whole truth?

On the surface, Fawkes' guilt is established. So, did he not first decline a false identity and claim to be a servant in the service of Thomas Percy, an illustrious Catholic in principle loyal to the Crown? Worse, was he not surprised, later, dressed differently and carrying matches and tinder, while we discovered, hidden under piles of bundles and coal, no less thirty-six barrels of gunpowder, or more than a ton and a half of explosive material? Enough to pulverize the House of Lords, located just above the cellar, and kill all the parliamentarians present.

At dawn, finally, the criminal is brought before the king.

So here's for the official version of the facts. At least for one of them, because there are two divergent accounts about the number and duration of building searches. Thus, according to a document archived online in 2008 on the official website of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, it is written that Guy Fawkes was not arrested in the cellar of the House of Lords but outside this last. We can better understand why, a few lines above, it is stated: "There is no doubt that Fawkes, though mistakenly remembered as the main conspirator, was in fact only a minor tooth in the gears." Astonishing summary of the role played by the one who is supposed to have been appointed to literally ignite the powder, on the day of November 5, 1605.

It is an unfortunate detail that these contradictory statements on the precise place where Guy Fawkes was arrested, because, suddenly, what proves to us that the plotter's lantern, still recently exhibited in Oxford, at the Ashmolean Museum, him really belonged? Would it not rather be an object intended to be shown to the public, in order to reinforce one of the versions of a story on which so many authoritative opinions diverge?

On Her Majesty's (Secret) Service

But let’s talk about Robert Cecil, whose name comes up again and again when we talk about the twisted blows of the invisible English state. Indeed, this discreet man seems at the heart, both of Intelligence, which is very logical, and of plots against the Crown, which is much less so, when conspirators are part of his own family, even if by marriage. . Thus, in 1603, he had to order the arrest of his wife's brother, Henry Brooke, 11th Baron Cobham, who was involved in, not one but two plots: the Bye Plot, a project to kidnap the new King James I of England and members of the Privy Council, and the Main Plot, an attempted coup in which Walter Raleigh was also allegedly involved.

However, the latter was a centerpiece of the counter-espionage network set up by Robert Devereux, and for which Anthony Bacon coordinated from his home. Moreover, Raleigh, like Devereux, it should be remembered, would have been the lover of Elisabeth de Vere, the niece of Robert Cecil, while Anthony Bacon is his first cousin.

Leaders of the Main Plot, Brooke and Walter Raleigh were imprisoned in the Tower of London, the former until 1618, a year before his death, the latter being released in 1616 so that he could go in search of gold mines in the Guyana, who died two years later, was again sued and, this time, executed. It should be noted that Raleigh, although imprisoned, was able to write many treatises and even conceived his son, Carew, early in his captivity. Finally, the trial showed that the evidence against the two men was rather inconsistent.

Is there a need to clarify that these facts are inconsistent? How could a man whose sister is married to the Secretary of State for Crown Security Affairs, who is also the head of the intelligence service, risk participating in a conspiracy against power? And by what miracle were the other conspirators able to follow him on such an adventure without raising the slightest objection, without being crossed by the slightest doubt as to his loyalty to the common cause? One of two things, either he's a fool, or he's an agent provocateur. In either case, it is very dangerous to associate him with such a project. Who would have embarked on this?
And as for Walter Raleigh, it's no better.

Was he really imprisoned? The question of course also applies to Brooke. The Tower of London was initially a fortress, construction of which began under William the Conqueror, after his victory at Hastings in 1066, which was subsequently extended. Royal residence, it includes a space allocated to the detention of enemies of the Crown, and it is only under the Tudors, between 1485 and 1603, that this complex of 4.9 hectares, counting only the surface of the castle stricto sensu, loses its residential role in favor of more prison use. But without ceasing to serve as an armory, treasury and menagerie. Until recently, the fortress housed the Royal Mint, responsible for minting the pound sterling, and the Crown Jewels are still preserved here.

Besides, for the record, the high-ranking inmates who were locked there could, as in any castle, improve their lives by, for example, buying better food from the lieutenant of the tower. So it is not a prison, but a palace.

The great conspiracy factory

Come to think of it, it seems rather that this incarceration is a hoax, perhaps intended to cover up that the Bye Plots and other Main Plots are in reality bogus plots, assembled from scratch by the secret service masterfully led by Robert Cecil, a real conductor in the field.

This is useful in more ways than one. Setting up, at regular intervals, infiltrated conspiracies from the outset, allows, among other things, to magnetize, to attract to oneself, protesters, rebels ready to take action, wrongly servants of the Crown considered faithful, because on the verge of selling themselves to the enemy for money or some promise of glory. This is a way of doing things as old as the world. Even today, the police regularly create websites full of child pornography images and videos in order to attract perverts, list them, monitor them and, from time to time, arrest a handful. to justify the salaries of its members and make it appear that the government cares about this problem.

With regard to the English intelligence services, there is at least one precedent: the Babington Plot, called in French the Babington conspiracy, for which many historians of the secret services recognize that Marie Stuart was trapped by a talented forger, Thomas Phelippes, which led, in 1587, to the execution of the rival cousin of Queen Elizabeth I.

It is very interesting to note that Phelippes was operating under the direct orders of Francis Walsingham, master spy whose daughter, Frances, married a second marriage, in 1595, with a certain Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, involved, in 1601, in yet another conspiracy against the Crown.

Another high-ranking figure recognized as an accomplice in the revolt of the Earl of Essex, the so-called William Parker, 4th Baron Monteagle, thanks to whom, according to the official version, the Powder Conspiracy of 1605 was discovered, arguably the most famous of the plots. hatched by the enemies of power.

However, Baron Monteagle is none other than the first cousin of William Stanley, 6th Earl of Derby, and a Stanley, since no less than two of his grandparents belong to this family, itself linked to the Cecils. In the end, all of these conjurations look just as fake as the next.

Is it necessary to detail all the inconsistencies? If the weather permitted, I would. But the most useful would be to look at those of the Gunpowder Plot, or Conspiracy of powders, because they allow astonishing discoveries suitable to serve as a breadcrumb trail along our quest for truth. I talk about it again in my book, from which this article is taken.

The tree that hides the forest

There, you will learn that the festivities of what is now called Guy Fawkes Night did not initially concern the famous "conspirator". You will then see how the entertainment industry - which has never lived up to its name - entertains, distracts and misleads the general public about the full involvement of the English Crown Secret Service in this alleged conspiracy, and for what reason this is so.

Finally, you will understand why the Fawkes mask was adopted by the hacktivist collective Anonymous in 2008, the "whistleblower" Julian Assange, three years later, and Egyptian Arab Spring activists in 2013.

For further

History of the Secret Service: The Shadow Theater of Reality, by Marc Legrand.


Video: Guy Fawkes and the Failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605. ASMR soft-spoken, history